Archive for November 22nd, 2009

Per mi amica

November 22, 2009

Liberated Negative Space in San Francisco

November 22, 2009

I did not do any of those, but they remind me that I have not taken my liberation seriously enough lately. Must get back to it!

NSFW November: Avis Miller, Miss November 1970

November 22, 2009

The lovely and talented Avis Miller, Miss November 1970, was living with her parents in Union City and working as a bunny in the San Francisco Playboy club when she was selected by Hef to be an elite Jet Bunny, a stewardess on his famous private plane. I found the interview really interesting, and then I stumbled over a shitload of pictures from her pictorial, so I’m going to let the original Playboy article and spread handle this one.


Photographed by Dwight Hooker

“Now that they have 747s, traveling on the commercial airlines is more luxurious than ever,” says November Playmate Avis Miller. “But as far as I’m concerned, the Big Bunny is the only way to fly.” The Big Bunny, if you don’t already know, is Hugh M. Hefner’s $5,500,000 custom built DC9-32, the most opulent private aircraft in the world. (“Jet Bunny,” Playboy, November 1970.)


“I don’t like living in the heart of a city,” says Avis, “because I get uptight about things like crowds, noise and smog. When I was a kid, my father, a salesman, kept getting transferred — Pittsburgh, Boston, Richmond, Houston. I grew up disliking city life, I’m afraid.”


After accompanying the plane on observation flights, including the Big Bunny’s maiden trip from Chicago to Los Angeles, Avis was scheduled to attend stewardess school in April. A week before her training began, she paid a surprise visit to her brother John, an oil analyst then assaying for possible petroleum deposits near Denver. After acquainting herself with the fundamentals of oil exploration, Avis spent her time loafing, her closest companions the historical best sellers she’d taken with her — Jenny and Mary, Queen of Scots. A graduate of Arizona State University, Avis majored in history and still finds the subject fascinating.


“Stewardesses usually have to train for six weeks,” says Avis, ” but that’s because they have to learn about five different aircraft — we only had to learn about one — and their teaching is slower because the classes usually have at least 50 girls in them. The big airlines also spend a week on grooming, which the Bunnies already know.”


After learning about the DC9-32, Avis took courses in first aid, ocean survival, handling general emergencies and food preparation, then was sent to the Lake Geneva Playboy Club-Hotel for special instruction in wine selection and gourmet dining service. Miss Miller reports that work aboard the Playboy plane is a lot less hectic than on a commercial airliner. “We always have at least three Jet Bunnies on board,” she says, “and since there’s a maximum of 38 passengers, we’re able to go about our duties without rushing.”



When Avis was finally flight-qualified, she got a chance to go on what she describes as “an unbelievable trip”: She was one of five jet Bunnies who accompanied Hefner and a private party of close friends on a 31-day jaunt through Africa and Europe.

That’s so awesome. That is like seriously the trip of a lifetime. Rad. That is so cool that she got to do that.


“The Hollywood scene turns me off completely. To get famous, you have to do a lot of dumb, embarrassing things. Who needs it? Besides, I want to have kids, and the lousiest mothers are usually working actresses; they never have time for their children.”


“I’ll be happy if I can wind up with a guy who’s carefree and isn’t a slave to business. I’ll admit that that type isn’t easy to find, but I haven’t even started looking yet.”

Hef sold the Big Bunny in ’76 when he bought his mansion in Holmby Hills. It was purchased and used in the late 1970s as part of the commercial fleet of Air Mexico, according to the internet. I have no idea what’s been going on with it since then.

Anticipation: Red Queens edition

November 22, 2009

I meant to gather quotes from the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts, but instead I ran across this intriguing wikipedia entry so I pasted that almost in its entirety instead. The entry describes the Red Queen Hypothesis and talks about evolution, sex, genetic arms races, and the “cost” of males.


I have lost the credit for this picture.

The Red Queen’s Hypothesis, or “Red Queen Effect” is an evolutionary hypothesis. The term is taken from the Red Queen’s race in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass.


Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen in the forthcoming Tim Burton movie

The Red Queen said, “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” The Red Queen Principle can be stated thus:

“For an evolutionary system, continuing development is needed just in order to maintain its fitness relative to the systems it is co-evolving with.”

The hypothesis is intended to explain two different phenomena: the advantage of sexual reproduction at the level of individuals, and the constant evolutionary arms race between competing species.


“The Queen of Hearts” by Simon Sherry on redbubble

Science writer Matt Ridley popularized the term “the red queen” in connection with sexual selection in his book The Red Queen. In the book, Ridley discussed the debate in theoretical biology over the adaptive benefit of sexual reproduction to those species in which it appears. The connection of the Red Queen to this debate arises from the fact that the traditionally accepted theory (Vicar of Bray) only showed adaptive benefit at the level of the species or group, not at the level of the gene (although, it must be added here that the protean ‘Vicar of Bray’ adaptation is very useful to some species that belong to the lower levels of the food chain).


“Future Queen of Hearts” by Micklyn on redbubble

By contrast, a Red-Queen-type theory that organisms are running cyclic arms races with their parasites can explain the utility of sexual reproduction at the level of the gene by positing that the role of sex is to preserve genes that are currently disadvantageous, but that will become advantageous against the background of a likely future population of parasites.


I don’t know where I got this

Sex is an evolutionary puzzle. In most sexual species, males make up half the population, yet they bear no offspring directly and generally contribute little to the survival of offspring. In fact, in some species, such as lions, males pose a positive threat to live young fathered by other males (although this could be viewed as a manifestation of Richard Dawkins’ so-called selfish gene, whose ‘goal’ is to reproduce itself, which may as a consequence suppress the reproduction of other genes). In addition, males and females must spend resources to attract and compete for mates. Sexual selection also can favor traits that reduce the fitness of an organism, such as brightly colored plumage in birds of paradise that increases the likelihood for an individual to be noticed by both predators and potential mates (see the handicap principle for more on this). Thus, sexual reproduction can be highly inefficient.


This came from an online auction; the crown sold 8-25-09. Not to me.

One possible explanation for the fact that nearly all vertebrates are sexual is that sex increases the rate at which adaptation can occur. This is for two reasons. Firstly, if an advantageous mutation occurs in an asexual line, it is impossible for that mutation to spread without wiping out all other lines, which may have different advantageous mutations of their own. Secondly, it mixes up alleles. Some instances of genetic variation might be advantageous only when paired with other mutations, and sex increases the likelihood that such pairings will occur.


“Princess of Hearts” by Basia McAuley on redbubble

For sex to be advantageous for these reasons requires constant selection for changing conditions. One factor that might cause this is the constant arms race between parasites and their hosts. Parasites generally evolve quickly, due to their short lifespans. As they evolve, they attack their hosts in a variety of ways. Two consecutive generations might be faced with very different selective pressures. If this change is rapid enough, it might explain the persistence of sex.


“Opposite attract” by Jenni Holmada on flickr

Interesting shit, am I right?

NSFW November – Rita Lee, Miss November 1977

November 22, 2009

Heads-up, Scorpios! (I’m looking at you, Cappy) — the lovely and talented Rita Lee, Miss November 1977, lists your sign as one of her turn-ons.


Photographed by Richard Fegley

A certain almost unstable level of insecurity and uncertainty comes across in her interview that I think translates in to these photographs. Check out her general lack of eye contact, her sidewise glances, her closed mouth, the way her hands have to be doing something. The wiki says that the photographer, Fegley, had her pose for his portfolio and even put her in a book. I guess maybe that nervous energy, that vulnerability, made her an interesting subject for more serious photography.

“I was very naïve and men took advantage of that. I always worried about what other people thought of me.” …

She says she would never have considered posing for “some of those other magazines” and that she was surprised that the Playboy people were so professional. “I didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard all sorts of things, like they photograph your body and put another girl’s head on it, and that none of the information on the girls is real. I was afraid that maybe after all the preliminary shootings they would decide my breasts weren’t big enough or something and ask me to have plastic surgery.” (“Growing Up,” Playboy, November 1977.)

She also talks in the interview about moving out and living on her own at 17, and how it was a mistake and her parents were right about her conservative upbringing. The below shot proves that Fegley got a smile out of her eventually. But it looks like it was a battle. Judging from what she said about her past and herself in her interview, I think she may have been pretty down and vulnerable during this period.


“I used to read about Marilyn Monroe. I felt as though I could identify with her. I learned something from her. Her suicide was like a warning for me.”

Shit-oh-dear, someone needs a hug and a Xanax! I am only comfortable making that joke because she is still alive and not dead like some of these other ladies. It’s actually terrible to read the interview and see the pictures because what emerges is a glimpse at this seemingly depressed, insecure woman with valid, sad anxietes about appearance and relationships, overly sensitive to the falseness inherent to human interaction, the whole ball of wax. I kind of do wish I could give her a hug. Some souls are born lost.

GOALS:
As I get older, to develop a better understanding of myself and others. To always have a fulfilling relationship with someone.

TURN-ONS:
Scorpio men, candlelit intimate dinners, swimming nude, genuine affection and trust.

TURNOFFS:
Phony people, particularly men who are attracted to women only because of looks.

Her repeated emphasis in both her data sheet and her interview on trust and wanting a relationship with someone who will look past her looks is heartrending to me. She must have really been burned in her past. I hope that she did find that fulfilling and ideal relationship, and that she married someone she really trusted, who deserved it, and lived happily ever after.

Daily Batman: Violette van Parys edition

November 22, 2009

After yesterday’s Ellen Von Unwerth photos of Melissa Haro Rose and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Chantal Thomass lingerie, I was bumming around on the Chantal Thomass website, not ashamed to say taking screencaps of lingerie (it happens!), and I stumbled over a link to the site of French jewelry designer Violette van Parys. She works mainly in porcelain. Here are some snaps of her “bad Batgirl” collection.


Phrases include, “I’m a bad Batgirl,” “Catch me if you can,” and “Born to be wild.”

You can’t buy her stuff online from her website, and it is only sold stateside at a store called Catbird in NYC. However, she did a run for Topshop’s A/W 09 collection in the UK, and you can probably get that online (or in person if you’re abroad).

edit: Just scoured the topshop website and the Violette van Parys brooches are not available online. In-store only. But I did find two fricking sweet pairs of tights with hearts, one all-over and the other with a row of hearts as a backseam.

Man, I would so buy those. Holy shit, when did they put up a “wishlist” feature? Dude. You’re getting no work out of me the rest of the day.